Thar She Blows: A World of Whales
Large numbers of whales populate Alaskan waters, and ecotravelers enjoy a wide choice of whale-watching options, from luxury nature cruises to coastal kayak trips.
One of our favorite Alaskan trips is offered by Alaska Photo Safaris, 907.733.3051. This 12-day, $3,895 tour, designed expressly for nature photography, combines a whale-watching cruise in Prince William Sound with a week in Denali Park. Natural Habitat Adventures runs a 13-day marine mammal trip out of Anchorage June through August which costs $3,995. Contact Natural Habitat Adventures, 800.543.8917. Another company, Dolphin Charters, makes 15 trips a year into Alaskan waters from May to October. This experienced operator (20 years in the business) makes a special effort to give participants a trip to remember. On board for each 10-day trip are a professional nature photographer, an expert biologist, and a professional chef. At sea, gray whales, humpback whales and orcas are the focus; day hikes in unpopulated areas give opportunities to see land mammals. Contact Dolphin Charters, 1007 Leneve Place, El Cerrito, CA 94530, 800.GRAY.WHALE, 510.527.9622.
Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris also offers a $2,895, 9-day humpback whale viewing trip in June and July on a 60-foot boat especially equipped for photographers. The vessel's route through icy fjords is charted to maximize opportunities to photograph the marine mammals from close range. (Call months ahead; this popular tour was sold out in February for the 1996 season.) Contact Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris, 206.463.5383.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication